Penalties - offshore income and gains

HMRC Brief 14/11 explains how the changes in the Finance Act allow for higher penalties to apply where income or gains that arose outside the UK are under-declared.

The penalties for offshore non-compliance came into force on 6 April and apply for the 2011/12 tax year to income tax and capital gains tax.

The new offshore penalty is an enhancement of three existing penalties for:

  • failure to notify 
  • inaccuracy in a return 
  • failure to file a tax return on time.


HMRC has said that 'where it is harder for us to get information from another country, the penalties for failing to declare income or gains arising in that country will be higher'.

Each territory has been placed into one of three categories:

  • Category 1 territories: the penalty rate is the same as for existing penalties, up to 100 per cent of the tax due;
  • Category 2 territories: the penalty is 1.5 times the existing penalties, up to 150 per cent of tax due;
  • Category 3 territories: the penalty is double the existing penalties, up to 200 per cent of tax due.